Brighouse Town 2- 0 Radcliffe Borough match report 13/08/2016
By Matthew Bostock
The Boro lost by a two-goal deficit on the opening day of the season away to Brighouse Town
Brighouse Town beat the Boro 2-0 after an extremely tight affair where only marginal decisions decided the tie during a competitive first match of the Evo-Stik season.
The Boro made the short journey north to kick off the new era against Brighouse Town on a sunny opening day of the season. The Boro went a goal down within the first two minutes of the game following some goalmouth pressure and after an in-swinging corner Brighouse right-back, Kurt Harris flicked on the ball into the back of the net which after hitting numerous bodies resulted in an own goal.
Despite the early goal the Boro began to find their feet and very nearly equalized in the 17th minute as Sanogo clipped Rokka’s chipped ball over the top past the keeper but it bounced just off the left-hand post before going out for a goal kick. Rokka applied further pressure two minutes later as he picked up the ball in the midfield and darted through the Brighouse defense before he saw his low right-footed shot tipped wide past the post from keeper Tom Taylor.
Luke Parkin should have really doubled his side's lead following neat play down the right-flank which saw Parkin dead center of the goal after receiving a pass back but he sliced his shot wide fortunately for the Boro. The Boro then had Firth to thank in the 34th minute as he produced a fine double-handed save as Fernando Moke unleashed a ferocious volley from outside the box which looked certain to hit the back of the net.
The visitors almost equalized on three separate occasions with three separate headers towards the end of the half in search for the leveler. First Rokka’s close-range header brought out a stunning one-handed save from Taylor. Then Lyndon saw his back-post header cleared off the line by fellow captain Adam Field. Then finally Sanogo saw his downward header bounce agonizingly past the back post as the Boro had their best spell of the game.
HT: Brighouse Town 1 – 0 Boro
The Boro began the second half like they ended the first, applying pressure to the hosts goal with some nice football in the middle of the park resulting in Rokka having an early effort which went way over. The half-time break clearly benefited the Boro as they began to get the ball down on the floor and find their rhythm which faded in and out at times throughout the majority of the first half. Unfortunately for the Boro though right-back Dube-Palmer was forced off with a serious injury which resulted in a long delay in the play.
Brighouse then doubled their lead on 67 minutes from the penalty spot after a slightly harsh decision from the referee after winger Moke was brought down in the box. Luke Parking duly delivered from 12 yards. Boro captain Hindle looked to find a way back into the game for his side as he picked the ball up in his own half and did a mazy run before his left-footed shot fizzed wide of the keeper's left-hand post.
Despite the forced re-shuffle in formation due to injuries the Boro held firm and looked to press to find a way back into the game. Firth in the Boro sticks, however, was having a superb game as he produced another fine save from close range following a corner which looked destined to extend the scoreline to three. The referee then waved away Boro's claims for a penalty which was not well received by the travelling away support who thought it was a clear spot-kick.
Yousif hit the side netting shortly into the 15 minutes added on time but failed to test the keeper with his effort. Rokka also tried his luck with an ambitious volley on the right wing, which just fell behind the crossbar rather than into the back of the net. Brighouse looked dangerous on the counter but they couldn't add to their two-goal advantage.
FT: Brighouse Town 2 - 0 Boro
This was a very encouraging performance from the Boro as they can feel hard done by some decisions which went against them on the day when on other days they might have had more luck on their side. The side played encouraging football throughout the match and weren't afraid to take on a player when required.
The Boro manager, Bill Prendergast, shared his thoughts on the game and also highlighted the positives he’s taking from the opening match of the season. He said: “I thought we played well in parts but the finishing could have been better. However we did what it says on the tin, we played positive and on the front foot football. We were pushing the ball past them and getting at them and forcing them to commit. If you look at the amount of chances we had compared to them I would have said we had more chances to score but unfortunately we didn’t put them away.”
He highlighted Ashley Firth as one of the standout performers as he added: “The goalkeeper was terrific and he was not at fault for either of the two goals. To go one nil down and put the performance like we have done and come away losing 2-0, we still have positives even going three at the back for the last twenty minutes we did not concede.”
Prendergast also commented on the injury situation but remained positive about the upcoming games, he said: “So in terms of the two goals they are not something we can really legislate for. We now have a selection issue due to the injuries, which I need to go and sit down about. It is a long season, it’s not been an ideal start but things can only get better. “
The Boro now turn their attention to their first home gae of the season this Tuesday night against Mossley A.F.C looking to get their first points on the board for the season; kick-off at Taurus Park is at 19:45 so make sure you are there to support your local club!